My answer to Epics of India: Between Radha and Meerabai who can be called Lord Krishna’s greatest devotee/lover?
Answer by Vishu Menon:
Radha is a purely imaginary figure : she finds no mention in Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana or Hari Vamsha. Jaya Deva (Jaydev to most) invented her as a an alter-ego for his own clandestine love, Padmavati, the temple dancer. This was logical; Krishna’s love for Radha was just as illegitimate – she was supposed to be married and much older than him.
Story of Meerabai, on the other hand, has some historical merit; she was a princess from Mewar whose husband died in a battle. Though a Rajasthani princess, she didn’t commit Sati: A rebel, she fantasized Krishna as her lover and wrote poems of her love and longing for him. Perhaps her Krishna was a symbol of her husband Bhojraj whom she had married for love. Most of the poems attributed to Meera were written in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. “Radha kyun Gori, Mein kyun kala (” Why is Radha white and I black?) , a song of 20th-century color prejudice, was certainly not written by her.
The Radhe-Radhe chant you hear when you visit Dwarka is as hollow as the I-am-Radha claim of DIG DK Panda of UP Police in India who was dismissed a few years ago for lunacy.